Will Lesson Teachers / After-School Tutors Always Be Relevant or Become Obsolete?

I know you're probably wondering what happened to me.  It'll remain a secret for now. However, I wanted to thank everyone who checked up on me via Twirra, left comments, etc.  Thanks a lot! And Compliments of the Season too.  *starts singing* Wee Wee Chu .... But before Christmas lands here, let's iron out today's topic.

THIS Friday's Free Downloads | Featuring: Rooftop MCs [SERIES 1 - 3] - Agbara Nla, Heroes, Entourage

Happy Black Friday! How was your Thanksgiving? I hope you got to spend quality time with family and friends over the short break.  I did.  Lord knows I needed that break.

The songs featured here today have actually been around for months.  They were released in the first half of 2012, but I just realized that I never shared them in this series.

Rooftop MCs, the 'Boys in the Building' are a rap/hip-hop duo whose career spans more than a decade.  The duo, comprising of Sokleva and Snatcha, worked with esteemed music producer, Cobhams Asuquo, to produce the 2008 hit, Lagimo.

In 2010, they released their 4th album, Back at One, which they made absolutely FREE (and is still available as a free download on 'I Want Airplay').

Fastforward to 2012.  In the first quarter of the year, they began releasing a series of singles, aptly titled SERIES, in anticipation of their 5th Album, Crosseyed: Minority Report 2.  The first three tracks in that pack are available here today as free downloads.  So, here they are in order of release:

1. SERIES [Season One]: Agbara Nla

If you lived in Nigeria in the '90s, then you probably remember the popular Yoruba TV Series by Mount Zion Film Ministry, Agbara Nla. Sampling the refrain from that TV show, the duo, assisted by the production and vocal skills of UK-based producer, Shabach Nwaname, celebrate the authority and supremacy of God while acknowledging that their relationship with Him is what has brought them as far as they have come.

The Perfect Nigerian Gentleman: Endangered Species or Non-Existent Mythical Creature?

Okay, I will concede that I went a bit overboard with the title.  I mean, there's no such thing as the perfect anybody or anything.  Maybe there's the perfect cupcake, or dress, but human beings are flawed.  It's in our nature.  So, why on earth would I, Relentless, even think of using the words 'Perfect' and 'Gentleman' in the same sentence?  Of course, I skipped right over Nigerian.  I am guessing you saw it.  I did.

Going back to the title, if I had to answer this question out-rightly  I would say: Yes, Nigerian gentlemen exist.  That of course, rules out the mythical creature option.  But, then if they do exist, what percentage of Nigerian men are gentlemen?  That's a difficult question to answer, especially if you don't know what the criteria are.  So, I need to start there, i.e. who or what is a gentleman, and specifically, who is a Nigerian gentleman?

THIS Friday's Free Downloads: Ephraem Chene (Ephraim Haruna), IBK Spaceship Boy and Ernythang (Ernest Bisong), Christ I Abide (C.I.A)

If you listen to Nigerian music regularly, one instrument that features quite regularly (apart from the keyboard and drums) would be the guitar.  However, the guitar is just one of many string instruments.  It is always refreshing to see musicians, particularly gospel artistes, creatively using other string instruments in unique and interesting ways.  And that brings us to this Friday's free downloads.

Apart from the fact that today's free downloads are well-produced and delightful to the ears, the first two downloads have one thing in common:  a strong and pervasive use of the violin.  You'll see (or hear) what I mean in a little bit. Meanwhile, let me briefly introduce you to the artistes one by one.

Ephraem Chene (Ephraim Haruna) - Beautiful

Ephraem Chene | Oooteejay.blogspot.com

SONG REVIEW | What You Do - Christ I Abide (C.I.A)

Before diving into today's post, I need to share the road map with you.  Please see below the 'legend' I intend to use for reviews from this point forwards.


B - Background
R - Review
A - Additional Information
V - Video(s)
E - Extras

And now, let the games begin!

6 Popular Hair Styles for Nigerian School Boys Guaranteed to Raise their Parents' Blood Pressure

Unless your parents are very liberal, chances are they restrict what you can do with your body under their roof.  By 'under their roof,'  I don't mean the house they built with their own blood and sweat.  That's unnecessary, and you would be inviting trouble if you dared to challenge your father especially on why he has not built a house like your friend's father (insert name of friend here).  

But this is not about houses, rented or bought.  It's about your hair (or lack of it).  I had primary school and secondary school students in mind for this post because for the most part, they are still minors living with their parents at this stage.  The following list covers a few hairstyles, outside of the typical Gorimapa and Tyson,  which are guaranteed to raise your parents' blood pressure.  Of course, I hope you'll want to do the opposite.

Recommended Reading: All Ages

Here we go:

THIS Friday's Free Downloads | Featuring: A'dam, Frank "Rich Boy" Edwards, Okey Sokay

All of the songs featured on today's post were brought to my attention via Twitter.  Otherwise, I probably wouldn't have heard of them either.  Thank God for social media, ba?

So, it is with joy that I present to you new music from the following artistes: A'dam, Frank Edwards (a.k.a "Rich Boy"), and Okey Sokay.  Brief information on each artiste follows:

A'dam - Fire on my Tongue

A'dam, a singer and songwriter, is an indigene of Osun State who was born in Lagos State.  Among his music credits are Mujojo, a collaboration with Midnight Crew and Feel so good featuring J-Town.  His newest single, Fire on my tongue, is a reminder that "the Holy Spirit gives power and utterance to speak God’s word without fear [Jeremiah 23:29]." [Source]. 

A'dam | Gospogroove

OFFICIAL VIDEO: Tolazee - Bintin L'aye (Life is Short) + Chorus Lyrics and Translation

Last year, I featured and reviewed Tolazee's single, Bintin L'aye.  Sometime last week, I was pleasantly surprised to find out that he had released a music video for the same song. Here is the official music video, directed by Tolucci:

Don't be a Foolish Builder

Unless the Lord builds a house,
the work of the builders is wasted.
Unless the Lord protects a city,
guarding it with sentries will do no good.

Psalm 127: 1 (NLT)*

THIS Friday's Free Downloads | Featuring: Ada Ehi [Bobo Me], Henrisoul [Your Love], Chris Shalom [We Bless Your Name]

I am really excited to be continuing this series:  This Friday's Free Downloads.  I have come across quite a number of songs I would love to share with you, but as always I will have to limit myself to three a week.  So, without rambling any further, check out the following free downloads courtesy of Ada Ehi, Henrisoul and Chris Shalom.

Special thanks to Praizhouse and Gospogroove for the download links.

Ada Ehi - Bobo Me

Ada Ehi | Praizhouse

Ada's latest single titled Bobo Me is our first free download.  It is a re-make of a popular Ishan folk song.  For more information on Ada, check out the following links:

Kini Big Deal with Handshakes: Firm or Just Touch-and-Go?

One of my least favorite parts of any church service is when whoever is on the pulpit announces: "Now, turn around and greet the people around you."  Why? Because it is certain to involve two activities I am not fond of: hugging (for the women) and shaking hands (for the men).  You probably can't tell from the look on my face.  I hope.  I will speak more on the hugs in a separate blog post (believe me, it deserves its own space).  But today, I wanted to deal with the handshake part.

You see after that announcement, you usually get a feel for different types of handshakes, ranging from the firm handshakes to the ones I like to call 'touch-and-go' (usually from women).  The 'touch-and-go' handshakes are particularly fascinating to me because the people who initiate these handshakes barely touch your hands as if you have craw-craw or some other skin ailment on your hands.  Seriously, I don't think I can even call it a handshake.  And then there are those who cannot decide whether to grasp your hand firmly or just sniff stare at it.  They grasp your hand and then drop it suddenly as if they just saw Willi-Willi materialize behind you.  Not cool.

ANNOUNCING: Winners of September Giveaway of iTunes Gift Cards

First of all, I want to thank every single person who asked after me or checked up on me during my voluntary absence from this blog.  It feels good to be missed, I tell you.  Thank you guys!

Second, I am sure you probably thought I had forgotten all about this giveaway, ba? Not at all.  Okay, let's get to it before November rolls by.

THIS Friday's Free Downloads | Featured Artistes: FLO (feat. Nsikak), Tex, Tim Godfrey

How did the first week in October go?  Fine, I hope.  Well, to cap off the week, here are three free songs courtesy of the following artistes: FLO, Tex, and Tim Godfrey.

God Alone - FLO featuring Nsikak

FLO | ReverbNation

Versatile Blogger Award: Courtesy of Dr. Fomsky

Dr. Fomsky gave me the Versatile Blogger Award last week, and the song that keeps playing in my head is Ori mi wu o, e l'agi mo.  In case you were wondering, that's Rooftop MCs song, Lagimo.  Yes, the one with Cobhams.  Okay, let's not get carried away now.  Thank you very much, Dr.  Fomsky! The award came as a surprise to me, and truly made my day ... week.  Lol!  So, why was I surprised, you might ask.  Well, simply because Toinlicious had passed it on to me last year.

[Image Source]

So, I have completed Part 1 of the Rules.  Oh wait! Where are my manners?  ('At home,'  replied a certain somebody).  Here are the rules for accepting the award:

Praying for our 52 year-old nation, Nigeria, is just Step One

Happy New Month.  Happy Independence Day.  Happy Birthday, Nigeria.  Or maybe I should say Mrs. Nigeria (our country is a 'she' right?)  I have no idea who Nigeria is married to, though. *coy smile*

Although Nigerians living outside Nigeria don't get the day off, October 1st is still important for the same reason:  it's Nigeria's independence day.  And today, Nigeria is 52 years old.  No comments on that.

Nigerian Flag | Source

THIS Friday's Free Downloads | Featured Artiste: Justice Ark

I know I say this a lot on this blog, but I cannot say it enough:  'Thank You' to all the artistes who make their music available for free.  A lot of work, time, sweat, etc goes into producing each track, and it's commendable that they're giving there 'work' away for free.  From my heart to yours, 'E se!"

Justice Ark | ReverbNation

SONG REVIEW: Kabio'osi (Royalty) - Jid-Vocals, featuring Mqhele (Zimbabwean)

Jid-Vocals is a Nigerian gospel artiste, based in Ukraine.  He had already released a single titled 'None Compares' (see video below) earlier this year.  He is back with another single titled Kabio'osi (Royalty), a song written in English and Yoruba.  He features a Zimbabwean gospel artiste, Mqhele, on this track as well.

Kabio'osi (alternatively called Kabiyesi) is a Yoruba term/name used to address kings.  It means 'Unquestionable.'  This song is an expression of Jid-Vocals (and Mqhele's) 'take' on the fact that Jesus, the King of Kings, is unquestionable.

Jid-Vocals and Mqhele

Listen to 'Kabio'osi (Royalty) below:

Is Polygamy (in Africa) a function of Education?

For the purposes of today's discussion, polygamy is the marriage between a man and two or more women.  I wanted to expand that definition to include men who are married to just one woman, but who have several mistresses / girlfriends / concubines or whatever label you want to use. In other words, I wanted to expand the definition of polygamy to include men who are monogamous on paper but polygamous in practice.  But, I think it would be better to leave them out for the sake of simplicity.

[Image Source]

THIS Friday's Free Downloads | Featuring: Fonny Michael feat. Patricia Uwaje-King & Ibitayo Jeje, BNG, Son of Wonder (S.O.W)

Picking up from where I left off last week, three more singles are made available here courtesy of the artistes listed below:

Ke Nsinsi - Fonny Michael featuring 
Patricia Uwaje-King and Ibitayo Jeje

One of the artistes featured here today is Fonny Michael, whose single, Abasi Amanam, was one of last Friday's free downloads.  Her other single, Ke Nsinsi, is the first song I would like to introduce to you.  It features two other female gospel artistes: Patricia Uwaje-King (Member of Midnight Crew) and Ibitayo Jeje, fondly referred to as the Gospel High life queen.  KE NSINSI is a praise song that tells God that we will praise Him as long as we live. Special thanks to Victor Igbinigie of Gospogroove for sharing this track with me.

More information on the preceding artistes:

FONNY MICHAEL:  Real Name: Mfon Michael | Find her onTwitter | Facebook 

PATRICIA UWAJE-KINGFind her on: Twitter | Facebook | Official Website

IBITAYO JEJE: Find her onTwitter | Facebook

Fonny Michael | SoundCloud

Patricia Uwaje- King | Source

Ibitayo Jeje | Twitter

Introduce yourself properly without irritating innocent bystanders

We shall start our lesson today by staring at the blackboard.  Okay, it is not really a blackboard.  It's just a wooden background.  But this issue don vex me so tay I carry my legs go construct placard wey I go take use illustrate.  Let me save you the heartache of reading my poor attempt at pidgin any further.  I will continue in English for your sake (You're welcome).  What I was saying was that this issue annoyed me to the point that I decided to make two visual aids to demonstrate what exactly I mean.

So, for the sake of today's blog post, we have two examples:

Example 1: The Wrong Method

Example 2: The Correct Method

Guess which 'Method' this example illustrates?

But wait, I am getting way ahead of myself.  Let me back up and start from the top.

THIS Friday's Free Downloads | Featuring: Fonny Michael, Creatives, Pastor J

For today's free downloads, the featured artistes bring different messages from various parts of Nigeria.  We start off with Fonny Michael's Abasi Amanam, a praise song written in Efik and English.  It is a song that expresses gratefulness to God for all He has done and extols the virtues of God and the things that God does for people. 

Fonny Michael | Gospogroove
She mostly sticks with a traditional theme, adding a little modern flair in the instrumentation and occasional use of auto-tune, which should have been omitted.  The music video is included as a bonus, for your viewing pleasure.  Special thanks to Gospogroove for sharing this song with me.

Yours Irreverently: Omit 'that' nasty hiccup

My first memorable encounter with the 'F' word (Yes, THE F-word) ironically was during an all-night prayer vigil in church.  I had just met this guy, who later became my friend (wonderful vocalist, by the way) at that same vigil.  I think we were supposed to be getting prayer points before jumping into the group prayer.  In the process of relating his frustration with his sister for not helping him with his plans to study abroad (at least, that's what he told me), he said the F-word.  I thought I had misheard him, but after he repeated it several times, I knew I was not dreaming.  This guy was using the F-word at a prayer meeting!

[Image Source]

THIS Friday's Free Downloads | Featured Artiste: Gameman Beatz Jockey - Riverside EP (Part II)

Picking up from where I left off last week Friday, today's free downloads are from Gameman Beatz Jockey's 6-track Riverside EP.  The first three songs were offered here last week, so if you missed them, you can check them out here.

Gameman Beatz Jockey / ReverbNation

Frustrated Fans Ask: Nigerian Artistes, how do we buy your music in the diaspora? | Featured Artiste: Ambassage

Imagine this scenario: You are browsing on the internet one day, when you stumble on a track by an artiste.  On closer inspection (and possibly from listening to the song), you discover that this artiste is a Nigerian, and in fact, LIVES in Nigeria.  You love that track so much (nothing like a well-written song to make you long for the entire album, ba?) you now have only one mission in life (okay, one mission relating to this artiste): Get your hands on his/her album.

Lara George's 3rd Album, HIGHER | Source

So, you keep your ears on the ground (and your eyes to the screen).  You don't shave, brush your teeth or hair in anticipation of this album.  And then finally, it drops! Yes, it drops ONLY in Nigeria.  You look online and can't seem to find the album to buy online either.  Now, you're faced with a major dilemma: how do you buy this artiste's album from the diaspora, where you live?

SEPTEMBER GIVEAWAY: Three $ 10 iTunes Gift Cards

Happy September, y'all! Thank God we made it to another new month. *does the Halleluyah wave and bursts into three seconds of the Hallelujah chorus*

THIS Friday's Free Downloads | Featured Artiste: Gameman - Riverside EP (Part I)

Gameman, a gospel rap artiste who has succeeded in carving a niche for himself in the industry, finally released his EP titled Riverside in July 2012.  Gameman who is not only an artiste, but also a music producer, has collaborated with many other gospel heavyweights such as Midnight Crew (Song: E Gimme Money) and FLO (Song: Yahweh).

Apparently, Gameman must be pretty generous because he made the entire Riverside EP available for FREE! That's right, you can download the entire 6-track EP for free.  From the bottom of my heart, Thank You, Gameman!

Gameman / ReverbNation

Who or What is the Relentless Builder?

Grinning Fulani girl

I updated my "About" section.  If you have ever wondered what or who 'The Relentless Builder' is, then you should definitely check it out.

5 Post-Concert Nigerian Foods Artistes Never Celebrate With | Featuring: Effizee

If you are a Nigerian or have been around Nigerians, you know that no celebration is ever complete without food.  From all the food metaphors I am constantly using, you should be able to tell by now that I love food! After making that confession, I need to add that last week I was thinking about Nigerian foods used in celebrations and today's blog post title was born. But, there's a twist.

After artistes perform on stage (or in front of their bathroom mirrors), they will more than likely want to re-fuel, right? Singing and dancing take up a lot of energy, I tell you! Assuming an artiste has successfully performed at a concert, for instance, don't you ever wonder what he or she eats afterwards to celebrate?  I do.

In the same vein, I think there are certain foods (including fruits) we typically do NOT associate with celebrations.  I came up with five of them, and here they are (in no particular order):

THIS Friday's Free Downloads | Featured Artiste: Obiora Obiwon

Thank God It's Friday! I just had to say that. Now that it's off my chest, I shall proceed with today's business: free downloads.  While making rounds on ReverbNation on Sunday, I was pleasantly surprised to find out that Obiora Obiwon had made some of the songs off his 2009 album, The Rebirth, available as free downloads on ReverbNation.  The Rebirth is Obiwon's second album, but it is his first gospel album.  And of course, I thought of you guys, and anyway, to cut the long story short, here are three tracks available for download, courtesy of Obiwon:

The first one is F.A.T.H.E.R (Part 2).  Just in case you were wondering F.A.T.H.E.R is an acronym for something.  To find out what that "something" is, download the song, and listen to it! The original song (F.A.T.H.E.R) was on the Rebirth album, but this second part was released as part of an EP titled F.A.T.H.E.R (Part 2) - EP.

Obiora Obiwon / ReverbNation

Love Songs in Nigerian Gospel Music | Featured Artiste(s): Mista Seth, B.O.U.Q.U.I

I hope the title does not surprise you.  If it does, well, sit tight, a good explanation is forthcoming.

If you're like me, a 'budding' romantic, then you've thought about LOVE, a lot.  Yes, budding not incurable because it has not reached the point of being a disease.  I did not think of myself as a romantic until recently.  No, I will not be gisting you about it.  It's not even what you think gan-an!

[Image Source]

THIS Friday's Free Downloads | Featuring: ThreadStone

For today's free downloads, there are three wonderful tracks from ThreadStone, a Christian rock band that started out in Jos, Plateau State in 2007.  The songs are: New Day (newest single), I am Nigeria (Original Version), and Miracle for a Lost City.  For more of their music, check out their ReverbNation Page.

ThreadStone | ReverbNation
The three-man band has the following members:

The Storyteller's Rhythm

[Image Source]

I'll make this quick and snappy.

I was reading one of the short stories in the Naija Stories Anthology last week.  The specific story I was reading was Tears by Yejide Kilanko and I noticed something: there was a peculiar rhythm that the author maintained while telling this story.  And it was not Yejide's story that alerted me to this for the first time.  It was something I had picked up on while reading other books from various non-African authors too.

THIS Friday's Free Downloads | Featuring: Mr. Blizz, Onos (feat. IBK, Gaise, GA2R, Wordsmith), Axios Choir

The three songs featured here today are songs I have been "gbadun-ing" all week long! The first song, Love, by Mr. Blizz is an acoustic-rich song that describes love based on 1 Corinthians 13, borrowing lyrics from Hausa, Yoruba, English, and possibly another language I am clearly unaware of.

The second song, In Control Remix, is a remix of the original single by Onos, which had Rooftop MCs collaborating with her on that track.  This time around, Onos brings the same level of energy that has become her trademark on this beat-heavy remix, and she is supported by several artistes on this track.  It has a pop-feel to it that's bound to get you dancing (at least, in your head, if not on your feet).

Finally, the third song, is a re-make of a classic Igbo worship song.  It is called I bu ngalaba (The Pillar) and it is performed by the talented members of Axios, the Babcock University choir.  The harmonies, song arrangement, and in short, just about every aspect of this song, will make you feel proud to be a Nigerian.  There's a nostalgic feel to this song that is unmistakable, and although it is a re-make of a classic, I daresay that this 'remix'  is itself a classic. The acapella version of I bu ngalaba is included as a bonus download.  You're welcome :-)

As usual, just click Download on each widget, and enjoy them over the weekend (and beyond).

1. Mr. Blizz 

Mr. Blizz | Facebook

ANNOUNCING: Winners of July Giveaway [Atilola Moronfolu's "Antonyms of a Mirage"]

I would like to thank everyone who participated in the July Giveaway of three free copies of Atilola Moronfolu's Antonyms of a Mirage.  Special thanks to Atilola for helping to spread the word!

[Image Source]

And now, in no particular order, the winners are:

WRITING OPPORTUNITY: AFRIPRO Houston 2012 Scholarship and Essay Contest

Although I do not live in Houston, I am signed onto the listserv for the African Professionals Network - Houston (AFRIPRO Houston), which is a "professional and community organization that consists of young professionals and entrepreneurs who have come together to network and exchange ideas for professional development." [Source] So, I got quite excited when I discovered that they were organizing a scholarship and essay contest this year. And of course, I had to share this information with you guys.

[Image Source: AFRIPRO Houston]

As with every contest, there are RULES.  To participate, applicants must:

THIS Friday's Free Downloads | Featuring: Soltune

How has your week been? Mine has been fine.  No complaints from me at all.  To round off the week, here are today's free downloads, courtesy of Soltune.  Enjoy!


[Image Credit]

Sister, Cross your legs; Brother, Do not attempt

First of all, I want to thank God for creating human beings with just two legs.  And for opposable thumbs.  Can you imagine crossing your legs if you were dealing with four limbs rather than two?  How would that even work? If dogs could talk, maybe they would enlighten us.  But since they don't we can [ask cows instead] let our imaginations run wild.  Or just refuse to think about it. The real question is: how do spiders cross their legs? Yes, all 8 hairy legs.  All of them.  Do they sip pina coladas while carrying out this exercise?  If you can answer this question, oh boy, you're a truly deep thinker.  In fact, I troway salute in advance.  Okay, I'll stop now. Maybe Not.

[Image Source: Kemi Filani]
Now, the inspiration for today's post title (the 1st part only) was a Ghanaian movie with the same name: Sister cross your legs.  I have not watched this movie, but the title has been stuck in my mind since the day I saw it. 

Mother's Advice: Do NOT Marry a Musician

Of all the professions parents (especially Nigerian parents) advice their children to pursue, music ranks low on that all-too-familiar list.  I bet some kids were born clutching "Anatomy" textbooks in one hand, and "Civil Procedure" casebooks in another.  Oya, deny that your first word was not "A-M-O-E-B-A" (which somewhat rhymes with Amala)? Um-hmm! I thought so! 

Naturally, as soon as a baby jumps out of his/her mother's womb, the child is fed on a strict diet of limited professional choices.  You might recognize some of them:  Medicine, Law, Engineering, Accountancy ... and when all else fails, you can get a PhD in any field.  That way, you can have people address you as Professor XYZ, rather than just (God forbid) "XYZ."  Believe it or not, it is not exclusively a Nigerian thing.  It's pretty common in other parts of the world as well.

THIS FRIDAY'S Free Downloads | Featuring: The Movement by VC Perez, J.Clone and B.O.U.Q.U.I

The three songs that are available as free downloads today have this in common:  I got "word" on them via Twitter.  I would like to specially thank each of the artistes for sharing their music with us.  Special thanks also to Gospogroove, Olatunji Olasehinde (Manager for Take Phive) and JClone (Featured Artiste) who notified me.  Thanks for giving me the heads up.  What else was I going to add? Oh yes! Hit the download button and enjoy.  Have a great weekend!

1. The Movement by VC Perez

The Movement | Gospogroove

THIS Friday's Free Downloads | Featuring: Lily Perez (My Life), Dach-Mo (Babu Kamarka), Gold Help Owen (Wait)

I hope you've been enjoying the assortment of free downloads offered here every Friday.  If you have, please take a few seconds to leave a comment.  The artistes will surely appreciate it.  Furthermore, if you have any artistes you would like to recommend for this series, please send me an e-mail with the link to the MP3 file download at relentless@therelentlesbuilder.com

Having said that, here are This Friday's free downloads, courtesy of three different Nigerian gospel artistes.  Click the Download button at on each widget, and enjoy!

1.  Lily Perez

Lily Perez / Facebook

What Watermelons can teach you about Hymns and Church Choruses | Featured Artiste: Glowreeyah Braimah

One thing I have probably never mentioned on this blog is that I have been privileged to be a member of a few choirs.  Mostly church choirs, of course, and the experiences I gained were invaluable. For the most part, there would be rehearsals for the hymns and/or choir special (typically some 'raining' gospel song like that).  However, there were those few nightmarish occasions where the choirmaster (or mistress) would pick a song (or hymn) that I had never in my entire life heard of. In the middle of the church service.

Under such circumstances (I was a teenager for some of those years), I would be worried about how to avoid being detected by those members of the audience who were experts at fishing out poor, clueless, unfortunate "I-don't-know-the-lyrics-Jesu-Gba-Mi-type" choir members.  Not that I fell into this category, of course *pops collar and adjusts blazer* In fact, I  refuse to re-live the horror of those moments. If you have ever been in that situation, you know precisely what I mean.  The good news is that there is finally a solution to this outrage.  To avoid moving your lips indiscriminately, thereby making a person look like a goat that is still chewing the cud, you can actually chew some gum do this instead: Adopt the "Watermelon" strategy. (I don't mean you should copy our little friend in the picture below.  You can do that after the service). Read on to find out more :-)

[Image Source]

JULY GIVEAWAY: Three Free Copies of Atilola Moronfolu's "Antonyms of a Mirage"

For the month of July, I will be giving away three free copies of Atilola Moronfolu's "Antonyms of a Mirage." Atilola is a fellow blogger, and also one of my readers. This is her first book. There is also an excerpt from the book for your reading pleasure, below, after the rules.

[Book Cover: Image Source]

THIS Friday's Free Downloads | Featuring: DeSam, Ikpemhosi Amakhabi, Cute Sagay

In continuing with our new series, This Friday, I have three Nigerian gospel artistes to share with you.  Check out their music and more useful information on them below.  And as usual, click the Download button on each widget to get your free copy of their featured singles.  Happy Clicking (so cheesy, I know)!

1. DeSam

DeSam / Facebook

Women are more spiritual than Men

In primary school, we learnt that Nigerians practiced three different kinds of religion: Christianity, Islam and Traditional Religion/Worship.  But as it turns out, that was just a tip of the iceberg.  My social studies teacher  (because that was indeed the class where this "knowledge" was imparted to me) did not tell me what I later observed in life.  And she (or was it a he?) could not even have explained this to me.  I am referring my personal observations on spirituality, i.e. women are more spiritual than men.

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SCHOOL SPIRIT: Do Nigerian Students Show It? | Featured Artiste: Ogecha

According to Wikipedia, School spirit is "emotional support for one's educational institution." [Source] Contrary to your opinion, it is has NOTHING to do with Madam Koin-Koin, bush babies, and other unexplained mysteries that plague the Nigerian school landscape.  (Really, Relentless? School and landscape in one sentence? Must be this heat wave).  Madam Koin-Koin would win the title for The School Spirit, which is not what I wanted to discuss here today.  (Aside: I wonder if she wears Louboutins.  If you see her, you can ask her).  I was thinking of school spirit in terms of showing support for your school.  
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THIS Friday's Free Downloads | Featuring: Simi, Joan Paul, NollyNolz

Every Friday, I will share three (or less) Nigerian gospel songs that are also available as free downloads so you can expand your music library. *wink*

To start this off, please check out the following artistes and click the Download button on each widget to get the free downloads.  Enjoy!


Simi / Facebook

Artiste's Stage Name: Simi

Artiste's Real Name: Simisola Ogunleye

Connect with Simi: Facebook | Twitter 

Listen to more tracks from Simi: ReverbNation

Featured Song: Chocolate Brown

Fedoras, Fine Men and Wrappers | Featured Artiste: P.I.T.A

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I own just two fedoras.  One is gray (like the one in the picture), and the other one is red.  Unfortunately (for me or you?) I am not about to delve into details of the places I have worn these fedoras to, and people's reactions to me (and my sister) wearing fedoras.  #TrueStory.  Does it help that we wore them with suspenders too? Move over Janet Jackson!  Neither am I  about to give you my top ten reasons for why I think every man (and woman) should own a fedora.  *wink* Rather, I shall .... Okay read on.

ANNOUNCING: Winners of June Giveaway

Thank you to every single person that participated in the June Giveaway.  I appreciate your support :-)
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And now for the winners ...

Parents Raise Nigerian Men to think differently from Women + Embracing Interracial Dating and Marriage | Featured Artiste: Femi Okunuga

The first thing that probably came to your mind when you saw the title was: "Well, Duh! EVERYONE knows that Nigerian men think differently from women!"  And you would be right.

In a typical Nigerian household, the male children are raised to be proactive with relationships, i.e. the men initiate relationships.  The man is the one who goes out to "find" his wife.  Of course, you will probably be raising up your hand and yelling: Hey, Relentless! That applies to EVERY family on the planet, Nigerian or not!" And you would be right, to a certain extent.  It's a man's world, right?  However, when you put this in an international context, it changes things a bit.  In a foreign country, the Nigerian man now has an opportunity to test his "proactive" upbringing relationship-wise, in a completely different context.  Not only does he have Nigerian women at his disposal; add to that women from every race on the planet (that would be easy in a city like New York, for example).

Sharing your home with Relatives [Yes or No] | Featured Artiste(s): Stage One

Before jumping into today's post, I wanted to say thank you to everyone who has been reading, commenting, following me on Blogger, Facebook, Twirra ... You know I meant to say "Twitter."  I appreciate the support and feedback.

And now for today's special:  Fried rice and Fried Fish.  What? You're watching your waist line?  Okay then.  More food for me then.  *grinning* Why do you still have your mouth open? You want me to add Dodo to it.  You have to close your mouth first.  There you go! LOL! Alright, I will behave myself and get right to it.

Growing up in Lagos, I noticed that friends, classmates, etc seemed to have one relative or the other living with them.  By relatives, I mean one or more members of their extended family (father's younger brother/sister, father's cousin, mother's sister, etc.  You get the picture).  When the relative was not wearing the "informal househelp" (should I have said "domestic help") cap, he/she was busy carrying in-house gist back to the main family in the village.  These are stereotypes, of course, and like I say every now and then (not on this blog sha), there are two sides to every story.

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What I have discovered, is that where a married couple, for example, have extended family members in the home, it tends to put unnecessary pressure/stress on the marriage. But maybe it is better to take a step back and see the background to this situation.  As usual, I will use a scenario to help you understand what I am driving at.

*dramatic music playing and then someone announces*

Behold the Scenario!

Caring for parents in their old age | Featured Artiste: Abby Godwin

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Remember that riddle, What goes up and never comes down?  The answer, as you must know by now, is TAXES AGE.  Age is one thing we cannot reverse.  Regardless of your views on health-conscious or cosmetic ways of reversing age, including plastic surgery, we can all agree that each day, every one of us is getting older.  Once upon a time, people consciously decided to have lots of children as insurance for their old age.  The high mortality rate in those times due to the prevalence of diseases was a major consideration too.  Unfortunately, this is still the case in many countries, including Nigeria.  But that is not the reason for this post.

Old age is something we should plan and prepare for.  I am not only referring to retirement, but caring for parents when they are too old to take care of themselves.  It took me coming to the US to know what Alzheimer's was.  Now that I even think about it, who knows how many of those so-called "mad-men" (and women) or were living under the bridge who actually have undiagnosed and untreated cases of Alzheimer's?  The fact is that the elderly are at risk for this and many other ailments, thus making it necessary for them to depend on others for support.